Erectile Dysfunction

Why Couples Don’t Kiss

A new study looks into the evolution of kissing

There might be more to kissing than meets the lips.

A recent study from Oxford University examined the different reasons that motivated people to kiss new partners. Previously, it was thought that kissing plays a role in sexual arousal (to help increase desire and get people in the mood).

However, the researchers found that most people in the study used kissing for a much different reason. The study participants reported that kissing helped them to gauge compatibility. In other words, it’s more than just foreplay, it’s a way for people to assess potential mates and decide whether they won't move forward to the next stage of the relationship.

The findings, which were published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, are on par with previous studies on kissing. Past research has found that, when we kiss, we exchange vital physiological information via saliva, including information related to our major histocompatibility complex (MHC).

MHC is a collection of genes associated with our immune system, and since we unconsciously want to mate with someone who has a different immune system from ours (to enhance our offspring's chance of survival), kissing might help let us know if we are kissing someone who is too similar to our bloodline.

All of this might help to explain why kissing tends to fall by the wayside in long-term relationships. Once we have assessed our partners and found the perfect mate, our biological drive to kiss might dissipate as the purpose of kissing has already been fulfilled.

That being said, kissing can help to boost oxytocin and feelings of desire, so it’s a good idea to actively ensure that you continue puckering up with your partner on a daily basis. You might already know that he is Mr. Right, but that’s no reason to miss out on the fun and sensuality of kissing!

Here are some tips to help get more kissing back into your relationship and your daily schedule:

• Kiss for 10 seconds a day. It sounds strange but kissing your partner for a specific amount of time each day will help you get back into the habit of daily smooches. At first, it will feel a little awkward to kiss for 10 seconds each day but soon enough your daily kisses will become spontaneous and you will no longer need to time them.

• Kiss your partner how they want to be kissed. How does your partner like to be kissed? Whatever his favorite style, a channel that energy to him and let him have the types of kisses he desires. Then, switch roles and have him kiss you the way you like to be kissed.

• Don’t wait for your partner to make the first move. If you want more kisses in your relationship, then you have to kiss your partner more. Don’t sit back and wait for him to make the first move. It’s your responsibility to create the life you want, so grab your partner and start puckering. Soon he will get the hint and start responding in turn.

Dr. Laura Berman,

Dr. Laura Berman is a world-renowned expert in the studies of relationships, sex and love. Dr. Berman attended New York University and has obtained her master's degree in clinical social work and a doctorate in health education specializing in human sexuality.

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